Training teachers to implement physical activity: Applying social cognitive theory

Objective: To evaluate the impact of three types of social cognitive theory (SCT)-based elementary school classroom physical activity (PA) training on teachers’ implementation rates, attitudes, knowledge and behaviour.

Design: Key stakeholder focus groups informed development of phase II which took the form of a randomised controlled trial of three different intensities of teacher training to conduct classroom-based PA sessions.

Setting: The study was conducted over one school year (2016–2017), across four elementary schools in the USA.

Methods: Researchers delivered professional development to teachers, focusing on effective methods for PA use in the classroom through three formats: webinar, in-person training and in-person with personalised assistance. Training content was built on SCT constructs. This study examined the impact of the PA training on SCT construct outcomes among elementary school classroom teachers (n = 41). Study outcome measures included reciprocal determinism, behavioural capability, outcome expectations and self-efficacy. Over the 12-week period following the training, teachers completed surveys to measure SCT construct outcomes.

Results: Results of the intervention demonstrated an increase in teacher self-efficacy and knowledge (p < .01 and p < .01). There was a significant increase of teachers who started using PA in the classroom who indicated no use at baseline (from 21% to 6% not using).

Conclusion: The use of SCT to provide a teacher training is an effective method to increase classroom PA, while improving teacher self-efficacy and knowledge concerning PA implementation.


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Work Title Training teachers to implement physical activity: Applying social cognitive theory
Open Access
  1. Elizabeth A. Hivner
  2. Alicia M. Hoke
  3. Erica B. Francis
  4. Erik B. Lehman
  5. Grace W. Hwang
  6. Jennifer L. Kraschnewski
  1. Classroom
  2. Physical activity
  3. Social cognitive theory
  4. Teachers
  5. Training
License In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
Work Type Article
  1. Health Education Journal
Publication Date January 10, 2019
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
  1. 10.1177/0017896918820558
Deposited July 25, 2022




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Work History

Version 1

  • Created
  • Added 0017896918820558.pdf
  • Added Creator Elizabeth A. Hivner
  • Added Creator Alicia M. Hoke
  • Added Creator Erica B. Francis
  • Added Creator Erik B. Lehman
  • Added Creator Grace W. Hwang
  • Added Creator Jennifer L. Kraschnewski
  • Published
  • Updated Keyword, Publication Date Show Changes
    • Classroom, Physical activity, Social cognitive theory, Teachers, Training
    Publication Date
    • 2022-07-25
    • 2019-01-10